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Why Do Scorpions Sometimes Eat Their Young?

Why Do Scorpions Sometimes Eat Their Young?

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Some people find scorpions to be incredibly fascinating. You might find them interesting because of how neat they look, and some people like learning about scorpions due to the fact that certain types of scorpions can be very dangerous.

When you live in an area that has scorpions, it’s a good idea to learn which ones might be dangerous to you. If you’re curious about them, then it might be fun to learn some other information, too.

Did you know that scorpions will sometimes eat their young? This is actually a very intriguing topic because it isn’t as simple as it sounds at first.

Keep reading to learn about why scorpions will sometimes eat their young. It’ll make it so that you have a better understanding of why this occurs and you’ll have an interesting scorpion fact that you can share with friends.

Baby Scorpions Rely on Their Mothers

The first thing to understand is that baby scorpions really rely on their mothers for survival. When a baby scorpion is born, it’s going to be quite tiny and it’s going to have a soft exoskeleton.

Having a soft exoskeleton makes the baby scorpion vulnerable, and that means that it isn’t ready to go off and start a life on its own. Baby scorpions will rely on their mothers to get by for a period of 10 to 20 days.

This period of time gives the baby scorpions the ability to develop hardened exoskeletons. These babies will ride on the back of their mother until they possess hardened exoskeletons and can go off to live on their own.

A mother scorpion doesn’t feed the babies as some mothers do, but she just protects them by allowing them to ride on her back. This is an important part of the scorpion life cycle, and the babies will go off on their own when the time is right.

Scorpions Are Born Alive

Newborn Scorpions

Many types of bugs will be born in eggs and it will take time for them to hatch. Scorpions are different because they’re born alive and not hatched from eggs like insects.

This also means that they aren’t perfectly ready to take on the world as soon as they’re born. The weakness of the baby scorpion makes it very reliant on its mother for the aforementioned period of 10 to 20 days.

Different species of scorpions will be birthed a bit differently, though. Some baby scorpions are born and develop within a membrane where they receive nourishment from the yolk.

Other types of baby scorpions receive nourishment directly from the mother. The differences between the scorpions, depending on the species that they come from, can be quite fascinating.

All baby scorpions will stay with their mothers until they have molted and developed hardened exoskeletons, though. Once the baby scorpions are more capable, they’ll be able to leave the mother and go off on their own.

It’s a lot different from how other bugs that you might be more familiar with do things. It’s also one of the reasons why mother scorpions might be forced to eat their own babies depending on the situation.

Mother Scorpions Will Eat the Babies as a Last Resort

Mother scorpions will sometimes be faced with a dilemma when they aren’t capable of finding enough resources. Under normal circumstances, a mother scorpion will be able to find enough food to eat and everything will be fine while it is carrying its babies.

However, a mother scorpion that isn’t able to find enough food might have to make some tough choices. Sometimes mother scorpions will eat the baby scorpions when they don’t have enough food to survive.

You see, mother scorpions can have as many as 100 babies in just one brood. That means that there are many baby scorpions that need to be able to survive, and sometimes it’s just too much.

When it isn’t possible for the entire brood to survive and the mother’s survival is looking unlikely, it’ll go ahead and eat the baby scorpions. This might seem very weird to some people, but it’s just how nature works when a scorpion needs to make a decision about survival based on how things are going.

Baby Scorpions Sometimes Eat Their Mothers

Scorpion with Babies on Its Back

Another interesting thing to know is that baby scorpions will sometimes eat their own mothers. This might sound like it’s a contradictory thing at first, but there are many situations where this will happen.

You might see the baby scorpions slowly consume the mother as they ride on its back. Scorpions aren’t the only species that do things like this either.

There are quite a few types of spiders, insects, and nematode worms that will also consume their mothers. The proper term for this is known as matriphagy and mother-eating is probably more common than many realize among certain insects.

Does this happen with all scorpions, though? Not necessarily, but baby scorpions can eat their mothers under the right circumstances.

There are many different species of scorpions out there. Just like not all scorpions have deadly stings, not all of them are going to be the same when it comes to the subject of matriphagy.

Did you know that there are more than 1,500 known species of scorpions on earth? It makes sense that different scorpions will have different practices when they’re babies when you think about it.

Other Interesting Scorpion Facts

After learning about scorpions and why they sometimes eat their young, it’s going to make you even more curious about these arachnids. There are many more scorpion facts that you can learn about that will give you some food for thought.

For example, scorpions glow in the dark for reasons that scientists can’t completely agree on. When you expose a scorpion to ultraviolet light, it’s going to glow.

Apparently, scorpions can absorb ultraviolet light with their skin and it will then reflect back as visible light. This is a very unusual and fun scorpion fact that not everyone knows about.

Scorpions are also known to be nocturnal hunters. They prey on many things that you might expect such as insects and spiders, but larger scorpions have been known to eat much larger animals.

A bigger scorpion could sting a rodent or a lizard and then feed on it. Scorpions will eat pretty much anything that they’re able to in the name of survival, and this might relate to the fact that scorpions will eat their young if it’s necessary.

Scorpions are certainly survivors and it’s actually difficult to kill one in certain ways. These arachnids can stay submerged in water for up to 48 hours because they have what are known as book lungs.

They don’t even need to eat all that often to survive because they have incredibly low metabolism rates. A scorpion can live for up to a year without eating in some circumstances.

You’ll find scorpions living in deserts because they can thrive there. They’re capable of living in harsh environments because they can survive off of the moisture that they obtain from eating food.

When in captivity, scorpions have been able to live for as long as 25 years. In the wild, scorpions will usually live between two and ten years, depending on the species, due to having to deal with more dangers.

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